The Department of Labor released its Spring 2015 regulatory agenda May 23, 2014. The regulatory plan adjusted the timetable for the second Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the Conflict of Interest Rule-Investment Advice rule from August 2014 to January 2015.
The DOL believes that this rulemaking is needed to bring the definition of "fiduciary" into line with investment advice practices and to recast the current regulation to better reflect relationships between investment advisers and their employee benefit plan clients.The Department also believes that the current regulation may inappropriately limit the types of investment advice relationships that should give rise to fiduciary duties on the part of the investment adviser, and that this rulemaking would reduce harmful conflicts of interest by amending the regulatory definition of the term "fiduciary” to more broadly define as fiduciaries those persons who render investment advice to plans and individual retirement accounts (IRAs) for a fee within the meaning of section 3(2) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
Also in January 2015, DOL expects to issue notices of proposed rulemaking about the safe harbor for the selection of annuity providers for individual account plans, as well as including lifetime income estimates on participants’ defined contribution account statements.
DOL moved the date for issuance of a request for information about the use of brokerage windows in participant-directed individual account retirement plans to May 2015 from April, as announce in its previous regulatory agenda. Other agency actions concerning rules for annual funding notices and summary annual reports for defined benefit plans and target-date fund disclosures have also been pushed back.
To download the Semiannual Regulatory Agenda - Spring 2014 - click here